My High Blood Pressure…. Now What?

So this past week at a routine GYN appointment, they surprisingly discovered I had high blood pressure. Yikes!

Now I’m one of those people with totally low-normal blood pressure where the nurse often thinks I’m dead it’s so low. So I was pretty surprised and the Doctor was disturbed at this sudden change.
They wondered if I was excessively stressed. After my appointment she had me relax and read before re-testing my pressure to be sure it wasn’t a fluke. Of course, at this point it was slightly higher (like 140/90 – when my numbers used to be at their highest of 110/70 or 100/60 which is low.) So, they told me I needed to get seen by them or my family doc in 48 hours to see if this was a random bad day or a new trend that would require investigation.
Sadly, when I went to my Family Doctor a few days later, my pressure was just as high. The doc asked me to eliminate salt as apparently it could have a huge impact on my blood pressure – as some people are salt sensitive. I’m hoping that is the case with me! That’s really the only lifestyle change I can make as I’m about 5 ft 3 inches / 102 lbs and already exercise. I’m also really trying to up my fluids as I know I’ve gotten lazy in the winter months and have not been drinking as much water as I should to be truly healthy.
The good news is that he didn’t put me on any blood pressure medicine at this point – we’re just going to work on eliminating the salt. (The other thing you can remove from your diet is caffeine, however, I also do not drink coffee or tea as caffeine bothers my stomach.) I’m waiting for results on a ton of blood work & urinalysis – all the standard stuff plus a few other random things – like Lupus which we have a very strong family history. And I’m also seeing a Neurologist on Tuesday to discuss my headaches to see if they could be more serious in nature and related to the rising Blood pressure.
The only troubling part is that at first he said I could continue with light exercise (ie cut my runs to just 1 mile) but then he wanted to see how my BP responded to brisk walking in the office. After that test, he said absolutely no exercise other than walking around. My doctor didn’t share what the numbers were, but said that they immediately spiked too high after a brisk walk in the hallway of the office and that there must be something underlying going on.
For now I’m on the health warpath and I’m getting plenty of rest as I ironically can’t exercise. I feel less stressed a week into the journey as I’ve been drinking a ton of water, eliminated all table salt, ham, and chips and my at home readings are day after day looking more normal. So we’ll see what turns up with my doctor appointments. Hopefully, I’ll just be looking at a life without BBQ chips and everything will be totally normal.

13 thoughts on “My High Blood Pressure…. Now What?”

  1. My husband recently had a very high BP reading at a check up and so we got a home BP reader and started making changes to see what helped most. For him the big change was switching to decaf coffee and teas. That dropped his BP like a rock, and no other changes were needed.

    Best of luck!

  2. Thanks for the tip.I don't drink tea or coffee so I can't do that change either. Sigh. Looks like the salt removal is helping at least so far based on my home monitoring the last few days.

  3. As I have gotten older, I get the "white coat" effect.
    It is higher when the assistant takes it and then later my doctor takes my pressure and it is better. They have me taking it once or twice a week at home to keep a check on it. Good luck with yours…..Cindi

  4. I’m on a journey, too, to get my BP under control without drugs. I’m posting great recipes on my blog, if you want to check it out. Try using Morton’s Salt Substitute in your cooking. I guess it’s not really that we eat too much salt; it’s that we don’t eat enough potassium. It’s the balance between sodium and potassium in your body that affects blood pressure. Good luck!

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